Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unbearable Lightness

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Wow. What a read. This memoir is commendably honest, almost painfully so. Portia really bares her soul and past as she talks about her battle with anorexia, self-image, and being gay in a straight world. I had trouble putting this book down because I just wanted to keep reading more! You'll cringe, you might cry, and you'll be fascinated by the extremes Portia goes to.

Publishers Weekly review from

The author, an actor in movies and TV, (including Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, and Better Off Ted), model, and gay rights advocate, writes that "playing the role of heterosexual while fantasizing about being a homosexual had been my reality since I was a child." It's one she played into her 20s, when she was for three years married to a man. Now, she is married to Ellen DeGeneres, whom she met in 2001 after recovering from anorexia and bulimia. De Rossi nicely chronicles the years in between, during which she starved herself to 80 pounds. She artfully draws the reader into the tension of a life lived in secrecy: did anybody notice she lunges rather than walks, the better to burn calories? will anyone guess she is gay? when she nearly fainted, was anyone around? While some details could be viewed as anorexia how-tos, they make it possible to comprehend the twisted logic of de Rossi's frantic daily pursuits, and grasp the enormity of her achievement in overcoming her problems. The path de Rossi took to her happy ending is well worth reading about: her story is a cautionary tale, an inspiration, and a triumph. (Nov.)
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